By Seth Rudetsky
16 Jan 2012
|Photo by Michael J. Lutch|
Oy! And, now, I have a month of crazy busy-ness! In one week, my new young adult book comes out, and I'm doing a reading/signing/performance at Barnes and Noble (86th and Lex.) on Jan 23. The day before (!), Disaster, the musical I wrote with Jack Plotnick based on all of the amazing 1970's disaster movies, opens at the Triad! We start today (only seven days of rehearsal), so I don't know if it's going to be one of those "Wow! We pulled it off" or "What were we thinking?" experiences that becomes a hilarious story once the devastation wears off. AKA, in ten years. I guess that's the excitement of putting up a new show. It's also why people turn to "dolls." Take a look at the sassy website we put together and the amazing pictures, www.DisasterMusical.com.
This week I saw Porgy and Bess for the second time (first time was in Boston). I still cannot get over the amazing singing, specifically Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis and Josh Henry. I cannot wait for the CD! Of course, after the show, I eavesdropped on audience members, and two women obviously knew Audra only from "The Practice." One confidently commented that Audra plays a doctor "married on to the show to Ty Diggs." Yes, she pronounced it Ty. Then the other one commented, "Yeah! You could tell on the TV show that she was talented." Then she pointed to the Playbill, "…but not this talented." Had they never seen Audra on Broadway? Are four Tony Awards not enough to get in the public eye?
|photo by Robb Johnston|
Anyhoo, I had my second Chatterbox of 2012 last week with Jan Maxwell, and she was such a great guest. First, I asked her about Follies, and she told me that they started rehearsals with a read/sing-thru for Sondheim. I had a panic attack hearing that, but she remembers being relatively calm. I asked her why she didn't have (what we called in the 70's) a "nervous breakdown," and she said it's because she lives by the theory, "Respect everyone. Revere no one." Uh-oh…I've made a career out of worshiping people. Now what?
Speaking of which, I was having a game night at Andrea Burns' apartment, and she was doing a hilarious lip-synch of a singer who clanks numerous times on a phrase. Andrea re-enacted it, adding her own subplot that while the singer was fading out on a note in the recording studio, she starts gesturing to the booth asking for another take. I, of course, then became the recording engineer in her improv, pointing to my watch and mouthing, "We don't have time to do another one." After we deconstructed it twice, Andrea told me that the night was so "meta" because if people knew I was doing it, they'd probably ask, "Wait! That's your job… you had a night out with friends and you spent it deconstructing?" She thinks it's so funny that people don't realize that deconstructing is what I've always done with friends, literally since elementary school. The job part came later. And, ps, the job part pays me pretty much the same as what I get deconstructing with friends. On a side note, we all watched some of the non-entertaining "Paul Lynde Hallowe'en Special." But, even though the show's a clunker, he's still funny. Watch his line reading to his maid (Margaret Hamilton!) of "Why don't you go dust." Brava!Continued...